Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Direct link established between stimulus-response learning, substance abuse

Date:
October 31, 2013
Source:
Douglas Mental Health University Institute
Summary:
A neuroscientist has found that the region of the brain involved in stimulus-response learning is directly linked to the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. More specifically, she discovered that people who resorted to stimulus-response learning smoked more, had double the consumption of alcohol and were more likely to use cannabis.

Véronique Bohbot, PhD, neuroscientist at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, found that the region of the brain involved in stimulus-response learning is directly linked to the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. More specifically, she discovered that people who resorted to stimulus-response learning smoked more, had double the consumption of alcohol and were more likely to use cannabis.

Related Articles


The results are published in the November edition of Hippocampus.

We rely on one of two strategies to navigate through our surroundings. One is called the spatial strategy, where we use visual cues and landmarks to develop cognitive maps that enable us to know where we are and how to get where we want to go. This process occurs in the hippocampus. The other is the stimulus-response strategy, which is a kind of auto-pilot: after travelling along the same route on a regular basis, we end up taking it out of habit. This process occurs in the striatum.

People who resort to stimulus-response learning have a more developed striatum and would consume more alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

Factors such as routine, stress and reward-seeking behaviour also contribute to stimulating the striatum, at the expense of the hippocampus.

"The literature indicates that children engage in stimulus-response strategies from a very young age," Véronique Bohbot explains. "Reward-seeking behavior in childhood, especially for immediate rewards like candy or playing action video games, stimulates the striatum and encourages stimulus-response strategies during navigation. This would predispose the child to drug seeking behaviour."

Previous studies have shown that an atrophied hippocampus increases the risk of developing a mental illness such as schizophrenia, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or Alzheimer's disease.

Véronique Bohbot will present her research results on November 13 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego, where she will talk about the importance of improving spatial navigation skills to maintain a balance and increase chances of a healthy cognition.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Douglas Mental Health University Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Veronique D. Bohbot, Daniel Del Balso, Kate Conrad, Kyoko Konishi, Marco Leyton. Caudate nucleus-dependent navigational strategies are associated with increased use of addictive drugs. Hippocampus, 2013; 23 (11): 973 DOI: 10.1002/hipo.22187

Cite This Page:

Douglas Mental Health University Institute. "Direct link established between stimulus-response learning, substance abuse." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125321.htm>.
Douglas Mental Health University Institute. (2013, October 31). Direct link established between stimulus-response learning, substance abuse. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125321.htm
Douglas Mental Health University Institute. "Direct link established between stimulus-response learning, substance abuse." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125321.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) — More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) — A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) — As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins